VRVis visualizes historic floods for scientific publication in the scientific journal "Nature"
Flood-rich periods of the last 500 years in Europe are conveyed both spatially and temporally by the 3D visualization of VRVis in the publication "Current flood-rich period exceptional compared to past 500 years in Europe".
The increasing number of flood disasters is a development that has been emerging for several decades, but has become more and more urgent in recent years as a consequence of the climate crisis.
The international study "Current flood-rich period exceptional compared to past 500 years in Europe", which has just been published in the journal "Nature", with the leading authors Günter Blöschl, Andrea Kiss (both TU Wien) and Alberto Viglione (University of Barcelona), documents the effects of climate change in Europe on the basis of an analysis of 500 years of flood history. For this purpose, tens of thousands of historical and contemporary flood reports from the period 1500 to 2016, across borders and cultures, were analyzed. It was clearly shown that floods have not only become more frequent in the last 30 years, but also differ significantly from those of the last centuries: Extreme weather events have become more severe, flood seasons have shifted and, in contrast to the past, when floods tended to occur in cold periods, global warming is now a central trigger for flood-rich periods.
The study also impressively confirms that precipitation and flood data from the past provide invaluable information for future flood risk management. For many years, the researchers of VRVis have therefore also been developing hydrodynamic models in close collaboration with the flood specialist Prof. Günter Blöschl from the TU Wien, which make innovative flood simulations possible on the basis of existing data. This research work of VRVis has resulted in the simulation software Visdom, which is already being used as a decision support tool in flood risk management within the scope of various, also international research projects. The software enables the visualization of extreme weather events as well as the simulation of plans for the water-sensitive urban development of the future at an unprecedented speed and in an easily comprehensible way.
International research achievements such as those presented in the present Nature publication could in future facilitate flood forecasting not only on a regional basis but also on a global scale, which will be of utmost importance for the assessment of flood risks in a changing climate.